The Toronto Maple Leafs have had arguably the hottest player in the National Hockey League in William Nylander after the Swedish Star has put together a 17-game point streak to start the year.
It just happens to be in a contract year where there is now a worry that the Toronto Maple Leafs may not be able to afford to bring back Nylander along with superstar Mitch Marner.
Heading into this past off-season, the Leafs had to deal with knowing that both Nylander and Auston Matthews were going into the final season of their contracts before becoming unrestricted free agents.
While sleepy Brad Treliving was able to get Matthews contract signed in August, he has been unable to get a Nylander extension completed.
It was rumoured during the summer that Treliving wanted to get Nylander signed in the mid $8 Million per season range, while the player’s side wanted closer to $10 Million.
At this point it looks as though the organization will be lucky to get the original Nylander contract demands from the summer as he has just seen his stock continuously rise.
This predicament has led some fans to wonder that if Nylander gets $10+ Million, does it mean that the franchise will have to decide between the 40-goal winger or Marner.
There is scenario where both players can fit on the roster. The salary cap was projected to raise to $87.5 Million next season, which is $4 Million more than the 2023-24 season. If that is the case, the Maple Leafs will have around $34.5 Million in cap space heading into next summer, which includes the $1.3 Million of a Ryan Reaves contract that may not even be on the pro roster.
Toronto Maple Leafs Have Lots of Cap Room Next Off-Season
Under the current CapFriendly.com page, the Maple Leafs have six forwards, three defense and one goalie signed.
A $10 Million Nylander contract would give the organization $24.5 Million to find five more bottom six forwards, two top four and one bottom pairing defenseman and a back-up goalie to Joseph Woll.
But what about Marner who will be going into the final year of his contract next summer?
There are continued projections that show the NHL Salary Cap could rise as high as $92 Million for the 2025-26 season.
This means that the team would have an additional four million in cap space, along with John Tavares $11 Million coming off the books, add in the team has enough young talent that will be near league minimum contract or entry level contracts the team will have lots of cap space.
The Toronto Maple Leafs salary cap situation, even with Nylander unsigned at this time, is set-up well to be able to keep all their star players.